The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur by Priyonkar Dasgupta is a well constructed story that is appealing and engaging, and keeps us in suspense until the last page. Despite beginning a bit on the sly, the story quickly takes pace and thanks to hints about what would follow, the author creates a growing curiosity in the reader.
In a nutshell, the tale is nothing short of a fairytale in which a set of young characters live an adventure in which there are one or more magical components. It opens a magical world, where a myriad of characters Shoumo, Joy, Shomik, Tonu and Pinku, with a great spirit of adventure strives to find a solution to the small and large problems that arise to each of them.
The fantastic element awakens the reader to that part of carefree childhood that is sometimes lost in the growing years as the book brings us then to discover a world that seems magical, but actually that is within us and will bring adults back to reminisce their childhood years and to enjoy the little things, and will give the kids yet another reason to smile and believe that magic exists and we can use it.
The simple and sliding style, which is never boring and makes the story even more compelling that with its intense mystery, will keep the reader glued to the pages without a moment's respite, who will feel satisfied only when they close the book, and definitely will have discovered something and maybe even more.
The author is so much good and convincing that the question that most of the time I asked myself is regarding my sense, as I get lost into the protagonists world. While reading we will be often confronted with the questions going on in the mind of the protagonists, as we follow their doubts, trust, feelings and secrets that they unravel.
The author knows how to arouse the curiosity of the reader from the start leading the reader to devour page after page to find out the whole truth and is definitely one of the reasons that led me to finish the book in a few hours. The book reflects on issues of a certain magnitude with an astonishing simplicity.
The author, in fact, leaves the reader perpetually poised on the thin line that separates fantasy from reality, that form different strands, as the young characters meet people around them and those who believe that the reason is on their side, but there is never that word or that phrase that gives us the firm conviction to find themselves on one side or the other.
The images, the colours and smells of the childhood are just what ooze from the pages of this amazing novel that, as structured, could not be written better, in which almost nothing happens unless the views, feelings and the hidden mysteries faced by the protagonists gets unlocked towards the end.
I would not have got involved, if it was not written in a sublime manner. It took me right away and I read it in one go because it is an immersion in childhood and the Indian society, of the time told through the reflections of the narrator and the characters that revolve around this story of innocence. There is a lot of this, behind the simple and seemingly static emotional story of childhood and the ghosts lurking to steal that innocence.
Publisher: Thought Balloon Books ♥ Language: English ♥ ISBN-13: 978-8193099100 ♥ Binding: Paperback ♥ Pages: 304 ♥ Published: 23 June 2015
I won a review copy from The Tales Pensieve as part of Reviewers Programme. Register on #TTP for lots of #book fun and activities.